Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I've been searching high and low for a cute pair of boots with a low heel.

Little did I know they were right here at home, right under my nose!

I bought them second hand quite a few years ago to put in my tickle trunk (full of lovely costumey pieces).

I've actually wore them a few years ago when I played Susanna Moodie in Molly Thom's The Bush Ladies.

Watch me act and speak in a British accent here!

Anyway, aren't they cute? Perfect for skinny jeans or with socks, tights and a skirt! I'm a sucker for buttons.
PLUS they were already in my closet! No need to buy more and add to the pile which I am currently trying to whitle down.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Wardrobe Project: T-Shirts and Sweaters and Blouses! Part 2

After T-shirts I contined with the purge and moved onto sweaters.

Here's the breakdown:

Total Number of Sweaters: 6

Total Number of Cardigans: 20

For some reason this catagory seemed tougher. I wear a lot of these sweaters regularly, so I could only justify getting rid of a few.
Like this one. I fell in love with it (for some reason) at Goodwill and waited until it was 50% off. I cannot bring myself to wear it. When I put it on I feel silly in it.
So it's going to the shop.

You  might remember this sweater from this post. I bought in on impulse. I should never do that. This sweater makes me feel like a line backer. Too much puff in the ruffles at the shoulders.
Sadly, this one didn't make the cut either.

In the end I didn't do as well as I did with the t-shirts., but on the other hand the keepers are in heavy rotation right now. Here are the numbers:

Number of Sweaters Remaining: 13 (from 20)

Number of Cardigans Remaining: 4 (from 6 )

Total Remaining: 17

On a bright note I really feel like the only thing I'm missing in the sweater/cardigan department is a great casual chunky knit for layering.
So that's a plus.

I've also got a few sweaters which made the cut this round, but remain on the hit list. If I don't wear them this winter they're out. Winter has yet to come. I didn't want to leave myself too short. It gets cold here.

Next on the list was blouses.

And the numbers:

Total Number of Blouses: 21

Quick story about this next top: I LOVE this blouse! (I know it's a tank top, but it's in a very blouse-like material so I consider it to be in the Blouse catagory) I love wearing it with khakis or denim shorts in the summer.


But I was VERY on the fence about keeping it.
For two reasons:
1. I didn't wear it this year. AND
2. It had aquired a spot on the lace which I can't remove:

I told myself at the beginning of this that anything stained would have to go.
So good-bye it went.

Maybe I'm getting better at this!!

I'm not gonna lie though, I really felt like I was on What Not to Wear. But I was Stacey, Clinton and Lisa all rolled into one. I was mentally beating myself up about some of the stuff I had in my closet. Like "why do you have so many old t-shirts?", "Who cares if this is comfortable?! It's ugly!" "Does this even fit you anymore?". I'm not sure if it was sad or funny.
I promise you I never answered myself once.

Then I had a break through! When I pulled this top out off the rack I thought "I forgot I owned this top! I love this top!"

This is everything I want my new wardrobe to become:
-yes! sophisticated with a twist!
-or better yet! sophisticated with a vintage twist.

So I will be keeping this in mind while I shop.

But before I forget. Here's how I landed on blouses after editing:

Total Remaining Blouses: 17 (from 28)

I am Missing:

1 classic white well fitting long sleeve blouse

This break-through helped inform some of my decisions as I went through the rest of my stuff. Keeping this style idea in mind really helped me decide whether to keep items or not.

I kept this top out as inspiration as I contiued editing.

Next on my list is Blazers, Suits and Skirts. Stay Tuned! I've also got some inspiration photos tucked away to show you and I promise the return of outfit photos as I try to redefine my style!

Lisa. xo

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Wardrobe Project: T-Shirts and Sweaters and Blouses! Part 1

Oh My! (Sorry I couldn't resist) Guess what I edited after Dresses?

I couldn't stop myself last night. I got through all three.

As I mentioned in my last post, I started with T-shirts last night as I thought they might be easier to edit.

Here's what I started with. This is the pile which resulted in me dumping the drawer of tank tops and camis onto the floor:

This is every single t-shirt I own. I included anything that was a jersey knit, be it printed or even embellished.

You might be asking yourself "What is in that blue bag at the end of the rack Lisa?". It's a bag of worn, maybe stained, maybe bleached out tee-shirts I own that I was planning to dye (like this blazer) someday. I decided to include them. They are part of my wardrobe. I am keeping them around so I can do something with them (which I haven't). Sigh.

Oh! And as I was gathering all of the tees I forgot about the one I was wearing!


So here are the numbers:

Total Number of T-Shirts: 37
(including long sleeved, and the one I'm wearing and any embellished tees)

Total Number of Tank Tops: 7
(I consider these the ones with thicker straps)

Total Number of Camisoles: 16
(I use these for layering)

Grand Total: 48

I actually thought there would be more. But just under 50 is a lot. I know...

At any rate, I started to edit. I tried a different approach than last time.
On the first pass I separated the for sure "keeps" and the for sure "gives" and the "maybes"
On the second pass I compared the "maybes" with the "keeps" to see if there was any overlap (like 2 black t-shirts for instance) and then I kept the best one.

This seemed to be working!!!
I was totally brutal this time! Maybe it's because t-shirts are much more disposable than say...dresses!

I was still hoarding tees though. Like this one. The colour in the collar is leached out and become faded and I still kept it! (Shame on you Old Navy, this happened shortly after I bought it, last fall. ugh.)

Things like this tank, I have kept because I love the punchy colour and I just LOVE the flower detail on the strap. But, it's WAY to short on me now.
Solution? Remove the flowers and find myself a new tank top. Or use them for some other project.
So that's what I did.

Or, I was finding several instances of situations like this as I edited. When I find a t-shirt I like, I usually buy one in every colour. Like these. Smart Set: 6 years ago (they have washed SO well! Go Smart Set!). I've worn them a lot. I think it's time they go. So they did. (Go Lisa!)

So how did I do?

SO GOOD! (happy dance ensued!)

Here are the results:

Total Number of Tees Remaining: 15 (from 37)
(This includes the one I'm wearing, 2 band tees I can't say good-bye to yet and a vintage knit that my grandma gave me)

Total Number of Tanks Remaining: 3 (from 7)

Total Number of Camis Remaining: 5 (from 16)
(2 were relegated to pjs. We'll see how that goes when I sort them. They're days may be numbered)

Remaining Grand Total: 21! (from 48)

Here are the shots of the keepers for your viewing pleasure(scroll back up for a reminder of the befores!):

Please don't get me wrong. This was VERY hard for me to do. It made me nervous. It made my heart pound. I had to take many deep breaths.

I only kept those things in heavy rotation and got rid of anything that was not in perfect condition.

This has left some SERIOUS holes in my t-shirt wardrobe.

I am Missing:

Basic Crew Neck Long Sleeve Tees - 1 in Black, 1 in White
Basic Crew Neck Short Sleeve Tees - 1 in Black, 1 in White, 1 in Grey
Basic Tank Tops - 1 in Black, 1 in White.

I'm starting a list so I'm prepared when I start shopping!

Stay Tuned for Part 2! T-Shirts were such a success that I couldn't help but do a few more last night!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Wardrobe Project: Falling Down the Rabbit Hole

So last night (you'll notice all the pictures with the flash taken at night) I officially started The Wardrobe Project.

I started by taking stock of all the places in the house where I keep clothes.
Here they are in all their not so glorious glory:

You remember my closet from yesterday's post (this is in our second bedroom on the main floor which happens to act as my dressing room). This is the everyday closet. Stuff I like to keep out "just-in-case" and stuff I wear regularly:

Here is the closet in the third bedroom on the main floor (which is occupied by The Boy's RC hobby supplies. This closet has off-season clothes (including coats) hung in it. I also keep my collection of vintage that I do not wear regularly in here, such as vintage cocktail dresses and furs. I also keep costumes hung up in this closet:

This is the front hall closet. This holds the usual stuff: coats, shoes, boots, hats, mitts etc...:

Here is the pile of clothes in the bedroom that are usually left beside my side of the bed (or in this case on top of Dave's kennel). This is a collection of what I have worn after work in the past few days. It regularly gets taken back to the dressing room (I somehow can never remember to get UN-dressed in that room. ha!). It's usually a collection of jeans and t-shirts:

Here is the drying rack in the laundry room which houses things which sometimes never make it upstairs (nevermind on hangers):

And last but not least is the rack of vintage clothes I have in the basement which I am amassing to start selling on etsy or consign next year. All of which will not count towards The Wardrobe Project, but I wanted to show you how many clothes are really in this house. I had to buy an extra clothing rack to accomodate them(The Boy has all of his things in the master bedroom closet for those who are wondering) :

Plus this bag of summer shoes I tossed down there last week:

So that's all of my dirty (and not so dirty) laundry.

And so the editing begun. I started with my favorite clothing item! Dresses!

I emptied the drying rack from the basement (well see how long I can go without it!) and brought it upstairs to begin my sorting. I gathered all of my dresses onto the rack. This actually stressed me out a little as I knew I was going to force myself to part with some of them. I stopped thinking about it for a moment and started to count.

Here are the totals after I finished sorting and counting:

Total Number of Dresses: 67
Total Number of Vintage Dresses: 42
Total Number of Vintage Dresses Worn: 22
Total Number of Dresses Worn (including modern): 44

Which Leaves:
23 Dresses Owned and Never Worn

I felt not bad after I counted everything. I have worn at least 2/3 of my dresses! Go Me! I have worn all but one of the modern dresses I've bought. It was really some of the older vintage dresses that I have never worn. Ones which I keep because I think they're pretty. Like this one:

So then the tough part started. The Editing.

This was so hard!!!! In my usual habit I rationalized every dress!

Here is one of the highlights (lowlights?!):

This is the only modern dress I have bought that I've never worn. And that is only because the strap broke on it the first time I tried to put it on. I've owned it for almost 8 years and have never fixed it. This admission depresses me.
The worst part is, I thought this one would be a no-brainer: Never worn: TOSS!
NOPE! When I hung it up to take the picture I had a good look at it and thought "this dress is so cute! With tights and a belt! I could totally fix the strap! It's silk for godsake and 90's grunge is coming back!"
I am so dumb.
It's in a "Repair" pile as we speak. (But on a bright note I am second guessing that decision as I type this).

OK. So I know you're all asking yourselves how many dresses did I actually get rid of?

Well this is a truly sad admission: 5 total. Yup. 5. Out of 67.


This is how it went down:
1 very damaged dress was thrown out (after I salvaged some trim off of it)
2 vintage dresses went down to the sell rack in the basement
2 dresses went in the give-away pile.

That's it.

This leaves me with 3 remaining Dress catagories (as I see it):

1. Dresses I wear regularly
2. Dresses with sentimental value (like my grad dress and a few my grandma gave me) + amazing vintage dresses I consider part of my collection.
3. Drsses I want to mend/repair (like the silk "grunge" dress). Which I have given myself a timeline for. If they're not completely repaired and ready to wear in a month I am getting rid of them. (it was the only way I could do it!)

So it was a bit of a dissapointing, slow start. I thought in the beginning that dresses would be a good place to start, but I think they're in fact too close to my heart. Now that I think about it, I'm more attached to my dresses than any other clothing item in my closet.
Maybe I'll come back to them after some practice on other things.

At any rate (sorry for the long post!!), I will systematically go through every piece of clothing. I'm hoping to tally up the numbers and see where I land at the end for fun!

I've also had a few emails/comments that a few of you would like to join me! Welcome! Let me know how you're doing!

Tonight I'm working on t-shirts, camisols and tank tops. Hopefully it'll be a bit easier.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The "Ah-Ha!" Moment: The Wardrobe Project

I've been racking my brain for the reason for my serious lack of motivation when it comes to posts these days.

This morning it hit me!

My Fall/Winter wardrobe is missing the simplicity of my Spring/Summer wardrobe.

I love my summer wardrobe. It's easy to mix and match. I love the simplicity of throwing on a great dress adding accessories and walking out the door.

Winnipeg is very cold in the winter. I believe that my HUGE wardrobe is getting in the way. I simply have too many choices in the morning (Sorry, I'm just not a lay-out-my-outfit-the-night-before kind of girl. I've tried and innevitably the next morning I change my mind and put on something else.).
This plethora of choices is making me indecisive and when this happens I give up on "the cute put together outfit" and put on a t-shirt and bottoms. Well this is just happening too frequently these days.

So this morning while getting dressed I decided it's time for some simplifying.

And so was born The Wardrobe Project.

Here are my goals:

1. Edit my closet leaving only those pieces which I love and wear reguarly.
2. Once edited, figure out which wardrobe basics I am lacking.
3. Hunt/Shop for those wardrobe basics and only purhcase quality items.
4. Define my style and look for trend pieces/accessories that match it. Only buy pieces I absolutly LOVE and ADORE.
5. Get a great haircut and buy the products my stylist reccomends.
6. Organize my wardrobe effectively. Including separating summer and winter items.
7. Pretty up my wardrobe. Including buying matching hangers and storage boxes.

Sounds simple right?

I feel as though I have a few obstacles standing in my way:

First: Money. A lot of my goals include shopping and purchasing. I am on a strict budget right now due to my job with less than full time hours. This means that saving will be important to reach these goals. And that it will take time to accomplish them.

Secondly: (this is the big one people!) I'm a bit of a clothes hoarder - and by a bit I mean I have clothes in practically every room of the house. I have a hard time getting rid of things. I always feel like I will use it again eventually. I feel fantastic when I give away a small shopping bag of clothes I haven't worn in 8 years. When likely I've only given them away because I'm out of hangers for the millions of things I've just bought.  This will be difficult and it will likely take time, maybe tears and A LOT of will power.

But I'm determined to do it.

This is the current state of my closet. (I am embarrased to post this)

It is always like this. In the morning I try something on, reject it, toss it in a pile and move onto the next thing. Then it stays like this forever. I simply have too many clothes.

I never thought I would say that.

So in starting The Wardrobe Project I am hoping to simpify my life and my wardrobe choices without losing those pretty vintage touches I love so much.

In the next post I will show you just how much I really have (all the closets). I'll break down the numbers as I begin to sort through it all.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Off Track

Well, it seems I've done it again.
Fallen off the blog-wagon.

I was so excited for fall and now that it's here I just have no idea what to wear! I am dissapointed with my outfit almost everyday. My hair is driving me crazy (time for a haircut and me with no money) and I feel unhappy about how out of shape I feel some days. Ugh.
Do you have days/weeks like this?

It feels tough to share with you when I feel so crummy about this stuff.

I need some much needed fall wardrobe inspiration. I'm feeling the need to simplify. Maybe downsize my wardrobe.
I dunno.

I'm trying to get back in the swing of things.
I found these two photos that make me pumped about getting dressed for fall.
Please send me some links to some more vintage inspired fall fashion! I need the help!!

Sorry, I can't remember where I got this one. Let me know if you know!!

Sigh. On the plus side, I finally got all of the pillows sewn for my new couch! And I've started decorating a little for Halloween. The Boy and I are in the process of picking out a rug for the living room.

Speaking of Halloween, I've signed on to work in the costume department at Harlequin for the month of October with my friend Jen! Should be fun!

You'll be seeing more of me. Promise! (And welcome to my new readers!!)


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